Practical Life activities are real life exercises that the child can learn how to do in a purposeful way and the Toddler Community is designed to introduce and meet the young child's needs in this area. Maria Montessori called these needs 'Human Tendencies'. Some of the human tendencies that are met in our community include order, consistency, routine, movement, communication, and caring for the self and the environment - also known as Practical Life.
Practical Life is the area of our curriculum that teaches life skills. Human beings of all ages have an innate desire to communicate with others, to challenge themselves, to do important work, and to contribute to the environment around them. When children are allowed to do 'real work' of washing dishes, scrubbing a table, preparing food, etc. many wonderful things are taking place on a developmental level. First the children begin to master self-control. If a dish gets dropped and broken, there is no one to tell the child 'you did this the wrong way', rather the child learns through natural consequences he must use more controlled movements.
If a child is scrubbing a table and gets off all the dirt, the success is clearly apparent to him. No adult offering him stickers and rewards can take the place of a feeling of satisfaction in a job well done. This leads to a healthy self-image and self-esteem that is developed from true accomplishments. Allowing the child to participate in the activities going on around him demonstrates a tremendous act of respect and confidence.
When a child is older and doing more academic work, he will draw on his early success in the Practical Life area. Not only does Practical Life allow the child to experience completing a task and the subsequent good feeling that goes along with real accomplishment - it also teaches the child to think in an orderly and logical manner, paving the way for reading and writing in the Primary casa and beyond.
Children have always shown us their interest in Practical Life by pretending to cook and clean, take care of a doll, carrying out adult conversations, etc., but when given the chance they would much rather be doing the real work of the family and community, instead of pretending.
“Education is a natural process carried out by the human individual, and is acquired not by
listening to words, but by experiences in the environment.” ~ Maria Montessori
We are an AMI accredited Montessori school growing daily in spirit & intellect!